League terminology question

League terminology question

Postby Jay Z » Sat Nov 27, 2021 9:57 am

I am writing about Ernie Warlick for the upcoming book about the 1964 Buffalo Bills. I am going to include a couple of statistical comparisons with other players. I am wondering how to address the group of players I'm comparing him with.

Warlick played in the AFL only, not the NFL at the time. I'm still comfortable calling him a "former NFL player" since the entire history of the AFL has been incorporated into the NFL. But I'm comparing him to NFL/AFL/AAFC players only. Not other pro football leagues. This is relevant, since Warlick played in the CFL, and I'm not using his records or other players as part of these comparisons. Is it generally okay to consider "pro football" as shorthand for "NFL/AFL/AAFC unless I state otherwise?" That is what is on Pro Football Reference. AAFC is typically considered a "major league" though the NFL does not recognize the stats. WFL, USFL, CFL, minor leagues are not. Can I just call it "pro football" without spelling it out? I might use "US pro football" in this case.
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Re: League terminology question

Postby RichardBak » Sat Nov 27, 2021 11:10 am

Personally, I automatically think of only the NFL, AFL, and AAFC when whenever reading, hearing, or using the term "pro football," at least as it applies to the game since World War II.

BTW---I no longer think of the Detroit Lions when using the term.... :oops:
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Re: League terminology question

Postby GameBeforeTheMoney » Sat Nov 27, 2021 11:44 am

Yeah in this case I would also not think of CFL when reading. We're all used to reading "pro football" as meaning NFL, AFL, AAFC. If you want to be more specific, you could say, "excluding CFL" or "not including CFL"
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Re: League terminology question

Postby GameBeforeTheMoney » Sat Nov 27, 2021 11:45 am

GameBeforeTheMoney wrote:Yeah in this case I would also not think of CFL when reading. The vast majority of readers are used to reading "pro football" as meaning NFL, AFL, AAFC. If you want to be more specific, you could say, "excluding CFL" or "not including CFL"
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Re: League terminology question

Postby Brian wolf » Sat Nov 27, 2021 1:28 pm

The CFL is still pro football and should help the cases of Gilchrist and Brito making the HOF. I feel Moon, Levy and Speedie got a boost playing/coaching there as well.

We will see if the USFL careers of Walker, Anthony Carter or Gary Clark can help their HOF cases but its doubtful ...
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Re: League terminology question

Postby RichardBak » Sat Nov 27, 2021 1:37 pm

Oh, I agree---the CFL is most def pro FB. And I don't discount those NFLers who spent part of their careers "up north" or hold it against them when it comes to HOF consideration. That said, it's still an exotic game when compared to American-style ball (12 players, 3 downs, larger field, all that stuff) and the average Joe (including myself) just doesn't include it in their brain housing group (fancy word for noggin) when thinking of what constitutes "pro football" in its narrower (American) sense.
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